Digital magazines are seeing increasing penetration because of the ease with which readers can use, save and pass along information found in both editorial content and online advertisements, according to a new study by Texterity Inc. and BPA Worldwide. The study conducted in April, confirms what many in the industry already knew: Successful branding requires the use of both print and online products.
According to Peter Black, senior vice president of business development for BPA, about 174 magazines reported some digital circulation in 2005, while a few years prior, that number was significantly less, with about 35 to 40 digital magazines in existence. "I think the usage of digital magazines will definitely increase," says Black. "In most cases, the numbers are still small, it may only account for five to 10 percent of circulation for most non-IT magazines. But the results of this study show that subscribers react very favorably to the magazines which may cause more publishers to investigate this."
For the study, Texterity surveyed more than 30,000 digital magazine readers of 45 b-to-b and consumer titles. The results show that more adults are logging onto the Internet to read digital editions than younger readers. In fact, people aged 45-49 are most actively using digital formats, followed by ages 35-39 and 40-44, according to the study. Readers are using digital magazines because they are convenient, providing information that is easy to access and interact with. Individuals surveyed say their primary reason for subscribing to a digital edition is the ability to search issues easily. Sixty-six percent say they log on to access their favorite magazines while 60 percent subscribe due to the ease with which they can save information.
Environmental friendliness was on 48 percent of respondents’ minds, while 46 percent appreciate the ability to forward information. The convenience and simplicity of subscription renewal online is also noted in the study, which shows that digital readers prefer to renew subscriptions online versus print by a 5 to 1 ratio. Fifty percent of respondents said they were more likely to renew digitally versus 10 percent who would prefer print.
Almost half of digital users no longer use, or have decreased their use of printed editions, instead relying on digital editions.